Basketball earns tough win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Rhynne Mitchell drives to the hoop for a shot during Friday’s victory over Edison, Mitchell scored seven points in the victory.
The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team seemed to be in control for most of the game, but teetered on the end of losing it several times in a 46-45 victory over the Edison-Fresno Tigers in Joe Flores Gym.
The Coyotes outperformed the Tigers from the free thorw line where 52 free throws were attempted. Madera was 16-of-29 for 55 percent while Edison shot 43 percent from the line (10-of-23) Friday night.
“Our youth showed tonight,” head coach Jason Smith said. “We fouled entirely too much in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. I was telling them to play solid team defense. We played solid team defense for three quarters and you saw that on the scoreboard. Everybody did their part.”
The two teams combined for 30 personal foul calls in the second half.
“The game got physical in the fourth quarter and the referees knew they had to tighten it up,” Smith said. “We were reaching and grabbing instead of sliding our feet and getting into position. We came back to that at the end and it looked so much better.”
Brooke Houghton led the Coyotes with 11 points and also pulled down six rebounds. She was 7-of-10 from the free throw line.
“We shoot a ton of free throws at practice,” Smith said. “We missed a couple we should of made, but we made them when it counted. One thing we have been harping on all week heading into this game was keeping the ball off the sideline. That showed itself that tonight and we didn’t dribble into a trap.”
The Coyotes turned the ball over 25 times, but also forced 27 turnovers and also had 15 steals. They committed just 14 turnovers in the first three quarters.
Eliana Jaramillo scored nine points on three 3-pointers. Aaliyah String scored seven with six rebounds while Jania Warren scored six with seven boards and five steals and Rhynne Mitchell also scored six points.
“We are starting three sophomores and two juniors and we are growing,” Smith said. “I knew this was a win we have to have. We are at home against an opponent in league we can beat. Every team in league is bigger and stronger than us. We really had to have this game. Our girls played hard tonight.”
Warren started the scoring with a banked 15-foot jumper. Then, String blocked a shot, came down with the rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup.
After an Edison 3-pointer, Warren put back a miss and String made a layup after an Ashley Hernandez steal.
The Tigers came back with four straight points, but Lilly Smith drained a 3-pointer for an 11-7 lead.
String came down with a rebound and fed to Mitchell for a layup and a 14-7 lead.
Mitchell made a free throw with 23 seconds left in the quarter for a seven-point lead.
Edison opened the second quarter with a short jumper and a free throw.
Houghton answered with a bucket. However, Edison scored six straight points to tie the game at 16.
Houghton broke the tie with a short jumper and two free throws.
Edison hit a 3-pointer, but Jaramillo hit one before the halftime buzzer for a 23-19 Coyotes’ lead.
Hernandez got a steal and turned it into a layup, but Edison answered with another 3-pointer.
Houghton gave the Coyotes a five-point lead with a pair of free throws to open the second half.
Edison scored the next 10 points to jump to a 32-27 lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
String pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back while getting fouled. She made her free throw to cut the Tigers’ lead to two.
Jaramillo hit a 3-pointer with about a minute let in the quarter. Edison was hit with a technical foul and Smith made one-of-two free throws.
After a steal by Houghton, Jaramillo drained another 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer for a 37-32 Coyotes’ lead to finish off a 10-0 run.
Edison opened the fourth quarter by going two-of-six from the free throw line and only cut the lead down to three.
Warren hit a pair of free throws to get the Coyotes a five-point lead. Mitchell added another free throw to get the lead to six with four minutes left.
Edison hit a pair of free throws while Hernandez made one for a 41-36 lead.
Both teams combined to not make a field goal for more than three minutes. Edison cut Madera’s lead to 42-40 with 1:21 left, but the Tigers could have gotten the lead because they went 4-of-8 from the free throw line in that span.
Houghton made a pair of free throws with 1:08 left to give the Coyotes a 44-40 lead.
Edison hit a jumper to cut the lead to two. Houghton hit one-of-two free throws with 30.4 seconds left.
Edison was fouled, but missed both free throws with 22 seconds left.
Mitchell was quicly fouled and made one-of-two free throws for a 46-42 lead.
The Coyote defense held up and forced a tough shot, but Edison still had possession out of bounds with 12.7 seconds left.
The Tigers hit a 3-pointer with about two seconds left to cut Madera’s lead to one.
Mitchell was quickly fouled with 1.3 seconds left. She missed both free throws, the second one intentionally, and Edison called time out with one second left.
They tried a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer and it went off the side of the rim to give the Coyotes the 46-45 victory.